Survivor Interview: Coconut vendor gets blindsided

Monty Brinton/CBS
Monty Brinton/CBS

Vince Sly seemed to be the epitome of No Collar. Unfortunately the laid back coconut vendor was blindsided on Survivor: Worlds Apart’s second episode. In an exclusive interview with The TV Junkies, Vince explains how he came to be cast on Survivor, reveals a Canadian connection and weighs in on how he was perceived in his onscreen relationships.

The TV Junkies: What was your strategy going into the game and were you able to stick to it?

Vince Sly: I went into the game knowing that you have to be adaptable at every moment. First I got in there and made a really good connection with Jenn. You see two or three minutes of it, but we had multiple long conversations that lasted a couple hours. So you make these connections to people and then things shift, she had much more of an age appropriate and experiential connection with Joe and Hali and they made that 3 pack. I then had to alter my game plan as you definitely do every day. Things are constantly shifting and when you don’t sleep or eat for 5 days, everything changes.

TTVJ: When did you realize you would be the one going home? Were you confident up until the final vote that you were safe?

VS: No, I feel like if you ever find yourself feeling confident in the game on Survivor, you’re not playing the game of Survivor. There’s always a second thought, speculative process you go through like “did that conversation go over the way I want it to?” You never really know. After Nina dropped that comment, which was brought to my attention out there, I most certainly tried my hardest to do some cleanup. What they don’t show is all the background power play moves I put into action. Why’d they split the vote? Because I tricked them with an idol. I’m not sure why it didn’t enter into the narrative.

There’s a lot of back story and game-play that went into this whole thing. So when it came to that point, Will had already been primed with feeling like he was in the middle of the two alliances. He didn’t really understand the game that well. So I think that he was thinking four is better than three.

When we were in tribal I knew that they were voting for me certainly. No one from the threesome would look me in the eye. So I had a pretty good idea that I would get two votes, hopefully not three, with what I set up with Nina and Will but it didn’t work out that way. Will straight up blindsided me and the other people I knew about.

TTVJ: What are your feelings on how you came across in regards to your relationship with Jenn and Joe?

VS: It was odd to see because no one remembers it like that. My personal perspective is that I understand they are driving a specific narrative for those who stayed on longer; I get that whole process from a production standpoint. However, my personal perspective is that I wasn’t presented accurately, especially in the first episode.

The second episode is much more of my true character, my general demeanor and so forth but that first episode was just wacky. There were reaction shots taken way out of context to build this theme of, I have a crush on Jenn, Jenn’s got a crush on Joe and I’m jealous of Joe. Whereas Joe and I most commonly worked together catching crabs and building stuff. We definitely butted heads because we are both capable, confident, creative people and we are typically used to doing it our own way. At times it felt like a big brother scenario in that I wanted certain things done a specific way, and he wanted it done his way and we would just get into it like dudes sometimes do.

When it comes to the crush scenario on Jenn, Jenn and I had a real world connection at first. When I realized she was developing a better connection with Joe, I then had to switch it up. I realized that’s shifting power away from me. Three is solid in a tribe of six and dangerous.It was really just me trying to skirt power away from those to myself because I feel like that ultimately in the game of Survivor you need control subversively over directly is important. It had nothing to do with a jealously issue. I don’t understand that narrative and I don’t feel like anybody on the tribe did. But hey it makes for good TV right?

TTVJ: Did you spend any time looking for the immunity idol?

VS: Oh yeah, we all did. Nina was somewhat neglected in that it takes extra effort to communicate with her. So I feel like the girls lacked that kind of patience and compassion to communicate with her in a way that was most comfortable for Nina. I tried to use that to my advantage, realizing that the power of 3 in a 6 tribe vote was most likely going to result in a tie. I faked that Nina had found an idol. So on Day 3 I said, “guys Nina’s gone a lot, she comes back with 2 sticks after three hours. You know she’s looking for the idol.” On day 4 “She told me she found an idol” and then Day 5, “she showed me the idol.” So they split the vote specifically because they thought she had one, and I don’t know why it didn’t make it into the edit, it was a pretty big deal. Why else would you split a vote?

TTVJ: How did you get cast on Survivor in the first place?

VS: I then had the coconut cart out one day in a place I wasn’t licensed to be when a cop came up about to write me a ticket. I talked him out of the whole situation giving him my spiel, he drove away and on the other side of the car was the casting director for Survivor. She offered me the opportunity to apply direct so I did so and got on the show.

TTVJ: Would you play again?

VS: Yes! I loved every moment out there. The challenges that you face when you are out on the beach with those people, it supersedes anything that you can ever put yourself into outside the game of Survivor. You get to explore a part of yourself that no other extreme circumstances that you can create with your own friends and family. If you travel to a foreign country and think it’s going to be similar with a stomach full of food at night, its not the same. It is the most extreme stress that you can possibly experience and realize parts of yourself. Things at 32 I thought I worked through a lot of the issues that came up out there and you get to take that back home with you as developmental growth and it’s great.

TTVJ: Having visited over 39 countries, you are quite the traveler! What is your favorite country to visit?

VS: Canada of course!

TTVJ: Where in Canada have you traveled?

VS: My father is from Alberta so by default I’m a Canadian citizen. I snowboard so we used to go to the BC mountains a lot.

But the most beautiful most enchanting place I’ve been too I would have to say Bali before the big boom, before it was highly developed.

Survivor: Worlds Apart, airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS and Global.